tv Happening Now FOX News December 28, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST
jon: fox news alert on mideast policy with secretary of state john kerry about to give a major speech at the state department just days after the u.s. allowed a controversial antiisrael resolution to pass in the un security council. good morning, welcome to happening now. i'm jon scott. melissa: and i'm melissa francis in today for jenna lee. final policy speech on middle east peace. he's expected to lay out principles for peace deal and reaction not coming in not surprising there with israeli cabinet calling mr. kerry's address a pathetic step accusing the obama administration of trying to limit president-elect trump's ability on his own policy on the policy. mr. trump tweeting today, we cannot continue to let israel be treated with total distaken and disrespect. they used to have a great friend
in the u.s. but not anymore. the beginning of the end was the horrible iran deal and now this, un. stay strong, israel, january 20th is fast approaching. jon: all which resolution condemned israeli settlements in jerusalem, u.s. embassador broke with past practice and abstained from the vote refusing to exercise america's veto pow ore. that would have stopped resolution in its track. israeli benjami netanyahu blames president obama raising tensions even higher between if two leaders who have had as you know a strained relationship for years. rich is live for us at the state department right now. what do we expect secretary of state kerry to say, rich. >> good morning, jon, we expect
the defense of u.s. action and a path forward for the middle east peace. there's questions of how significant that will be given that secretary of state and the obama administration have about three weeks remaining until they turn things over to trump folks who have a very different view on foreign policy and certainly foreign policy within the middle east. the obama administration has been certainly over the last month more critical of israel settlement building in a speech by secretary of state john kerry earlier this month and culminating on friday in that un security council vote where the u.s. abstained and in doing so allowing critical resolution to pass the council. the administration is making the case that its opposition and u.s. opposition to that settlement building is nothing new. in fact, the united states embassador to the un samantha power after the vote on friday quoted ronald reagan saying that further settlement activity is in no way necessary for the security of israel. the administration also points
out that it's been critical of the palestinians and critical of them they say for not condemning specific and being more critical of terrorist acts, jon. jon: what about the israelis, what are they saying? >> not only abstained from the vote but allowed it to pass and they are say they orchestrated it and that's something the department denies. >> we reject the notion that the united states was the driving force behind the resolution. that's just not true. the united states did not draft the resolution nor did it put it forward. it was drafted initially introduced as we all know by egypt in coordination with the palestinians and others. >> obama administration is down playing the consequences of this resolution but there have been republicans, the incoming trump folks and then on top of that democrats who have been fairly critical of the on -- obama
administration's actions. jon: we will have it. meantime president obama is coming under fire for his foreign policy with a washington post editorial headline reading, thanks so no drama obama, american leadership is gone. the author of that column goes to write, quote, he's a 21st century man who never quite appreciated the lessons of the 20th, he's all too happy to preside over the loss of american influence, aleppo, syria, a pile of rubble is where can you countless died, doing to the syrian regime what could not be done for rebels. joining us now john mccormick, senior writer for the weekly
standard, do you agree with the overall theme of that column that american influence in the middle east died under the obama administration? >> i agree with that. anything any fair observer will have to agree with that. obama's policy weakening our allies and enemy strengthening, syria and iraq, there are consequences, there's a price to be paid for nonintervention and there are costs to be paid when you don't intervene. so, for example, when president obama decided he failed to secure an agreement to keep some u.s. troops, keep the peace in iraq, we got to the consequence of that, was the rise of isis. hillary clinton has blamed on the rise of isis to arm the moderate rebels in syria back in 2011. left a huge vacuum and filled by jihadists.
that, in turn, lead to real problems with our allies around the world, not sure if america is going to be there to stand with them, russia embolden and invaded ukraine. anywhere you look around the world, people are beginning to look that just as president bush there was a price to pay for intervention. real costs for obama's decision not to intervene in a number of places. jon: one of the slogans that helped get barack obama reelected that general motors was alive and osama ben laden was dead, the projection was this was a guy that went after our enemies in a muscular way. >> well, sure, he went -- he got a lot of political capital for taking out osama bin laden under his leadership, al-qaeda wasn't on the run. it was evolving into a jihadist army we now call isis that controls land in syria and iraq and that's going to be a huge problem that the next administration is going to have
to deal with. jon: current assessment from generals in the current administration are that it's at least two years away now and, again, you're saying that if the u.s. had -- left more troops in iraq it would have prevented the rise of the cancer? >> i think there's a good case to make. a lot of people will talk to foreign policy, generals will say that. we could have easily prevented the rise of isis, you know, taking over a city like mosul, that definitely would have been stopped if we had u.s. forces there. now it's been a long bloody campaign to reverse the gains and we have not yet defeated. that's what we are seeing from the administration and their undermining of israel, the fact that they've been willing to cuddle russia and iran, we see enemies strengthen and allies weaken. jon: there's the famous moment on foreign policy between mitt romney and president obama, mitt
romney challenged him on russia and mr. obama, you know, famously, the said 1980's want their policy back, what do you say about the state of relations with russia right now? >> well, i don't think you could call the relations between u.s. and russia anything more than a failure. you know, president obama appear the the state department and hillary clinton thought they were going to pursue a policy of reset, we were going to get away from the cowboy diplomacy that george w. bush engaged in. how did that work out exactly? russia invaded ukraine and annex crimea, it's playing a dominant role in syria, slaughtering civilians and been incredibly accused and swaying the u.s. election by hacking democratic emails. you have to say that that diplomatic front has been a complete failure. jon: president bush obviously launched the war in afghanistan and then the invasion of iraq, president obama seemed to feel
that he was elected in large part to sort of withdraw from the world, you're saying that he overdid it? >> i think so, i think that the person people care more about securing the peace and whether he had few filled a campaign pledge to a t, i think that if he could have secured force of 10,000 u.s. troops that that could have prevented any sort of large gains that isis secured in iraq and syria over the last five years. jon: john mccormick from the weekly standard, john, thank you. >> thank you. melissa: all right we are waiting remarks from secretary of state john kerry on the peace process. whether he bring remarks as soon as the secretary steps up to that podium that you're looking at right there. also we are keeping a close eye on stocks today. once again as dow continues to hover around 20,000, what is
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live from the fox extreme weather center, what's going on out there? janice: it's winter. we are going to be be dealing with north eastern tomorrow because low pressure is going to form off the coast and get a lot of energy from the atlantic ocean and we could be dealing with feet of snow in new england. current temperatures this time yesterday we were at 58-degrees, so quite a drop as this cold front moves through. past 24 hours quiet but do not be deceived, we have the low pressure across the great lakes going to transfer all of its energy to the coastal low. so this time tomorrow, mainly a rain events southward of new york city and snow in the interior sections of northern new england. along the coast too warm for a big snow event, however, northern new england, interior northeast, you could get walloped by the system. maybe even into friday. there's the bullseye.
the other good part of it it's going to be out of here by friday. winter weather advisories posted for areas in blues and pinks, be aware. make sure that you're checking with your local forecast, jon, melissa, back to you. jon: what about new year's eve, we have to know? janice: this time yesterday we were talking about the possibility of maybe a few showers but i was hoping i could wave my magic wand and looks like it's going to happen. temperatures 38, great news because it could be a lot colder than that. the coldest was 1917 at 1 and windchill minus 21. 38 is not too bad. across the rest of the country, my apologizes, there's the snowfall from the north eastern. here we go. midnight forecast for baltimore, milwaukee, denver, phoenix, not too bad. much of the country around
seasonal, we could see some snow showers or rain showers across seattle as well as atlanta and new orleans, here in new york city for the big celebration, i think the weather is going to cooperate. jon: sounds good. a lot of the tourists will be happy with that. thank you, janice. [laughter] melissa: all right. stocks on wall street heading lower today as the dow's flirtation with dow 20,000 cools down a little bit. fox business network nicole petallides is live at the new york stock exchange. nicole, i'm struggling with people asking me, when are we going to see 20, i don't know. do you know? nicole: we don't know exactly, i just asked two traders who walked by and both said friday if that's a crystal ball for you. everybody came in once again with hope in their hearts for dow 20,000. we have gotten so close.
this morning we moved up 35 points and were within 20 points of dow 20,000, but then since pulled back because we have energy and technology and industrial, so many of the sectors are under pressure today. i will say that there's cautionary tone and then i'm going to give you the good news at tend. jp morgan put out a morning note today talking about the state of the united states and the global market overall that it rests on the realization of the trump-ryan agenda. that does continue in a good way. stocks, that's all good. there does appear to be some differences that are occurring twine investor expectations and the likely reality and this represents equity risk going into 2017 for the first few months. so can trump-ryan put the great ideas through on corporate taxes and infrastructure spending and the like? so there is some cautionary tone on that. i will say for this quarter we've had great performers,
goldman sachs has helped lift the dow from 19,000 to 20,000. goldman sachs is up 50%. also nasdaq moving to all-time highs, bank of america, united airlines and also netflix. but big picture here, the traders still feeling optimistic, they still think that the trend is to the upside, this is a head lieb driven market. anything donald trump says at any time can really give this market a boost and the idea here is that the market will move to 20,000 and if you ask everybody here, they still feel bullish. ly also say that this week and it's my last point, this week notably is a winning week because money managers that have cash, they put it into the areas that look good so they are not sitting on cash, hey, hey i was invested in goldman, i was invested in this and they get that in there by friday, it's called window dressing, that too could give us a little bit of a boost by the end of this week.
we will say hello to dow 20,000 maybe. melissa: nicole petallides thanks for bringing that to our attention. see you soon. jon: we are waiting for secretary of state john kerry's speech on mideast policy and plans for a peación -- peace deal. he'll be making significant remarks moments from now. we will have them for you live. why the u.s. and the united nations have no business outlining the parameters for an agreement, who he says should be involved. plus, a new arrest to tell you about in the berlin terror attack, what led to the suspect
jon: secretary of state john kerry making remarks about mideast peace as tensions simmer between the u.s. and israel. let's listen in. >> one simple reason because the two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between israelis and palestinians. it is the only way to ensure israel's future as a jewish and
democratic state. living in peace and security with its neighbors. it is the only way to ensure a future freedom of dignity for the palestinian people and it is an important way of advancing united states interests in the region. now, i would like to explain why that future is now in jeopardy and provide some context for why we could not in good conscious stand in the way of a resolution at the united nations that makes clear that both sides must act now to preserve the possibility of peace. i'm also here to share my conviction that there is still a way forward if the responsibility parties are willing to act and i want to share a practical suggestion for how to preserve and advance the prospects for the just and
lasting peace that both sides deserve. so it is vital that we have a -- an honest, clear eyed conversation about the uncomfortable truths and difficult choices because the alternative that's vast becoming the reality on the ground is in nobody's interest, not the israelis, not the palestinians, not the region and not the united states. now, i want to stress that there is an important point here. my job above all is to defend the united states of america, to stand up for and defend our values and our interests in the world and if we were to stand idly by and in doing so we are allowing a dangerous dynamic to take hold, which promises greater conflict and instability to a region in which we have vital interest, we would be
derelict in our own responsibilities. regrettably some seem to believe that the u.s. friendship means the u.s. must accept any policy regardless of our own interests, our own positions, our own words, our own principles even after urging again and again that the policy must change, friends need to help -- tell heech other the hard truths and friendship require mutual respect. israel's permanent representative to the united nations does not support a two-state solution. quote, it was to be expected that ally would act in accordance in values we share and veto the resolution. i am compelled to respond today that the united states did in fact, vote in accordance with
our values, just as previous u.s. administrations have done at the security council before us. they failed to recognize that this friend, the united states of america, that has done more to support israel than any other country, this friend that has blocked countless efforts to delegitimize israel cannot be true to our own values or even the stated democratic values of israel. and we cannot properly defend and protect israel if we allow a viable two-state solution to be destroyed by our own eyes, that's the bottom line. the vote in the united nations was about preserving the two-state solution. that's what we were standing up for. israel's future as jewish and democratic state living side by side in peace and security with its navy -- neighbors, that's
what we are trying to preserve for our sake and theirs. in fact, this administration has been israel's greatest friend and supporter with an absolutely unwavering commitment to advancing israel's security and protecting its legitimacy. on this point, i want to be very clear, no american administration has done more for is ra -- israel's security than barack obama's. the israeli prime minister himself has noted our, quote, unprecedented military intelligence cooperation. our military exercises are more advanced thanever. our assistance has saved countless israeli lives. we have consistently supported israel to defend itself by itself including actions in gaza that sparked great controversy. time and again we have demonstrated that we have israel's back, we have strongly
opposed boycotts, campaigns and sanctions targeting israel in international forum. whenever and wherever its legitimacy was attacked and we have fought for its inclusion across the un system. in the midst of our own financial crisis and budget deficits, we repeatedly increased funding to support israel. in fact, more than one half of our entire global foreign military financing goes to israel. and this fall we concluded a historic 38 billion-dollar memorandum of understanding that includes package the united states has provided to any country at any time. and that will invest in cutting-edge missile defense and sustain israel's qualitative edge for years to come, that's the measure of our support.
this commitment is israe -- israel's security, i was captivated by a special country. one that ii immediately admired and knew to love. i have climbed masada, swam in the dead sea, driven from one biblical city to another. i have seen the dark side of hezbollah rocket storage facilities just across the border in lebanon, walked through the exhibits of the hell of the holocaust that stood and tinny air space of israel which would make anyone understanding the importance of security to israelis, out of those experiences came a steadfast commitment to is ral's security that has never waived in a
single minute with my 28 years in senate or four years as secretary. i've also often visited west bank communities where i met palestinians struggling for basic freedom and dignity amidst the occupation. past by military check point that could make the routine daily trip to works or school an ordeal or business leaders who could not get product to markets or families who struggled to secure permission just to travel for needed medical care. i have witnessed firsthand the ravages of a conflict that has gone on for far too lopping. i have seen israeli children which playground has been hit by rockets. i visited schools, the kids had 15 seconds after a warning sign came off.
palestinian girls played in the rubble of a bombed out building. no children, israeli or palestinian should have to live like that. so despite the obvious difficulties that i understood when i became secretary of state, i knew that i had to do everything in my power to help end this conflict. and i was grateful to be working for president obama who is prepared to take risks for peace and was deeply committed to that effort. like previous u.s. administrations, we have committed our influence and resources to try and resolve the arab-israeli conflict because, yes, it would serve american interests to stabilize region and fulfill america's commitment to survival, security and well-being of an israel at peace with arab neighbors. despite our best efforts over
the years, the two-state solution is in serious jeopardy. the truth is that trends on the ground, violence, terrorism, incitement, settlement expansion and seeming endless occupation and increasingly cementing one state reality that most people do not actually want. today there are a number of -- there are a similar number of jews and palestinians living between the jordan river and mediterranean sea. they have a choice. they can choose to live together in one state or they can separate into two states. but here is a fundamental
reality, if the choice is one state, israel can either be jewish or democratic, it cannot be both. and it won't ever really be add -- at peace. moreover palestinians will never fully realize vast potential in a homeland of their own with a one-state solution. now, most on both sides understand this basic choice and that is why it's important that polls show that there's still strong support for the two-state solution, in theory, they just don't believe that it can happen. after decades of conflict, many no longer see the other side as people, only as threats and enemies. both sides continue to push a narrative that plays to people's fears and reinforces the worst stereotypes, rather than working
to change perceptions and build up belief in the possibility of peace. and the truth is the extraordinary polarization in this conflict extends beyond israelis and palestinians, allies of both sides are content to reinforce this with -- you're with us or against us mentality, we are too often anyone that questions palestinian actions is an apologist for the occupation and anyone who disagrees with is ral' policy is cast as antisematic. that's one of the most striking realities about the current situation. one state or two states is a effectively being made on the ground every single day despite the expressed opinion of the majority of the people. the status quo is leading
towards one state and perpetual occupation. with this passive resignation the problems only get worse and the choices are narrow. the sense of hopelessness among israelis is exacerbated by the continuing balance, terrorist attacks against civilians and incitement which are destroying belief in the possibility of peace. let me say it again, there is absolutely no justification for terrorism and there never will be. and the most recent wave of palestinian violence has included hundreds of terrorist attacks in the past year including stabbings, shootings, vehicular attacks and bombings, many by individuals who have been radicalized by social
media, yet the murderers of innocents are still glorified on websites including showing attackers next to palestinian leaders following attacks and despite statements by president and party's leaders making clear their opposition to violence, too often they send a different message by failing to condemn specific terrorist attacks and naming public squares, streets and schools after terrorists. president obama and i have made it clear to the palestinian leadership countless times, publicly and privately, that all incitement of violence must stop. we have consistently condemned violence and terrorism and even condemned the palestinian leadership for not condemning it. far too often the pa palestinians have pursued effort to delegitimize israel in international fora. we have strongly opposed the
initiatives including the recent holy unbalanced and inflammatory resolution regarding jerusalem and we have made clear our strong opposition against israel at the icc which only sets back the prospects for peace. and we all understand that the palestinian authority has a lot more to do to strengthen the institutions and improve governance. most troubling of all hamas continue to improve agenda, they have a one-state vision of their own, all of the land is palestine. hamas and other radical factions are responsible for the most explicit forms of incitement to violence and many of the images that they use are truly appalling and they to kill innocents in israel and putting people at gaza at risk
in order to advance the agenda. compounding this, the humanitarian situation in gaza exacerbated by the closings of the crossings is dire, gaza is home to one of the world's densest concentrations of people and during extreme hardships with few opportunities, 1.3 million people out of gaza's population of 1.8 million are in need of daily assistance. food and shelter, most have electricity less than half of the time and only 45% of the water is safe to drink. yet despite the urgency of these needs hamas and other militant groups continue to rearm and divert reconstruction materials to built tunnels threatening more attacks on israeli civilians that no government can tolerate. now, at the same time we have to be careful about what is
happening in the west bank. the israeli prime minister publicly supports a two-state solution, but his current coalition is the most right wing in israeli history with an agenda driven by the most extreme elements. the result is that policies of this government which the prime minister himself just described has more more commit today settlement than any in israel's history, our leading in the opposite direction, they're leading towards one state. in fact, israel has increasingly consolidated control over much of the west bank for its own purposes. effectively reversing the transitions to greater palestinian civil authority that were called for by the accords. i don't think most people in israel and certainly in the world have any idea how broad and systematic the process has become. but the facts speak for
themselves. the number of settlers in the roughly 130 israeli settlement east of the 1967 lines has steadily ground. the settler population in the west bank alone not including east jerusalem has increased by nearly 270,000 since including one hundred thousand just since 2009 when president obama's term began. there's no point in pretending that these are just enlarged settlement blocks. nearly 490,000 settlers are living east of the separation barrier that was created by israel itself. in the middle of what might any reasonable definition would be the future palestinian state. and the population of these distant settlements has grown 20,000 just since 2009. in fact, just recently, the
government approved a significant new settlement well east of the barrier closer to jordan than to israel. what does that say to palestinians in particular but also to the united states and the world about israel's intentions? let me emphasize, this is not to say that the settlements are the whole or the primary cause of this conflict. of course, they are not. nor can you say that if the settlements were suddenly removed you'd have peace without a broader agreement. you would not. and we understand that in a final status agreement, certain settlements would become part of israel to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 449 years, we understand that. including the new democratic, demographic realities that exist on the ground. they would have to be factored in. but if more and more settlers
are moving in to the middle of palestinian areas, it's going to be just that much harder to separate, that much harder to imagine transferring sovereignty and that is exactly the outcome that some are purposely accelerating. let's be clear, settlement expansion has nothing to do with israel's security, many settlements actually increase the security burden on the israeli defense forces and leaders of the settler movement are motivated by ideological imperatives that ignore legitimate palestinian aspirations. among the most troubling illustrations of this point has been the proliferation of settler outposts that are illegal under israel's own laws. they are often located on palestinian land and strategically placed in
locations that make two states impossible. there are over one hundred of the outposts and since 2011, nearly one-third of them have been or are being legalized despite pledges by past israeli governments to dismantle many of them. now leaders of the settler movement have advanced unprecedented new legislation that would legalize most of those outposts. for the first time it would apply israeli domestic law to the west bank rather than military law which is a major step towards the process of annexation. when the law passed in the israeli parliament, one of the chief proponents proudly and i quote, today the israeli move from heading towards establishing the palestinian state towards israeli sovereignty in judea and
somaria. even the israeli attorney general has said that the draft law is unconstitutional and violation of international law. now, you may hear from advocates that the settlements are not an obstacle to peace because the settlers who don't want to leave can just stay in palestine like the arab israelis who live in israel. that misses a critical point, my friends. the arab-israelis are citizens of israel, subject to israel's law. does anyone here really believe that the settlers will agree to submit to palestinian law in palestine? likewise, some supporters of the settlement argue that is the settlers could just stay in their settlements and remain as israeli citizens in their separate enclaves protected by the idf. well, they are over 480 -- 80
settlements and many located in place that is would make a continuous palestinian state impossible. does anyone seriously think that if they stay where they are, you could still have a viable palestinian state? now, some have asked, why can't we build in the blocks which everyone knows will eventually be part of israel, well, the reason building there or anywhere else in the west bank results in such a pushback is that the decision of what constitutes a block is being made unilaterally without consent of palestinians and without granted the palestinians a a reciprocal right what would be part of palestine. bottom line, without agreement or mutuality the unilateral choices become a major point of contention and that is part of
why we are here where we are. now, you may hear that the remote settlements aren't a problem because they only take a mall percentage of the land, well, again and again we have made it clear, it's not just a question of the overall amount of land available in the west bank, it's whether the land can be connected or is broken up into small parcells like the swiss cheese that could never constitute a real state, the more outpostthat is are built, the more the settlement expands, the less possible to create a continuous state. in the end, a settlement is not just the land that it's on, it's also what the location does to the movement of people, what it does to the ability of a road to connect to one community to another, what it does to the sense of statehood that's chipped away with each new construction. no one thinking seriously about
peace can ignore the reality of what the settlements pose to that peace. but the problem obviously goes well beyond settlements, trends indicate a comprehensive effort to take the west bank land for israel and prevent any palestinian development there. today the 60% of the west bank known as area c much of which was supposed to be transferred to palestinian control long ago, much of it is effectively off limits to palestinian development. most today has essentially been taken for exclusive use by israel, simply by unilaterally designated as state land or including it within the jurisdiction of regional settlement councils, israeli farms flourish in the jordan
river valley and israeli resorts line the shores of the dead sea, a lot of people don't realize this. they line the shore of the dead sea where palestinian development is not allowed. in fact, almost no private palestinian building is approved in area c at all. only one permit was issued by israel in all of 2014 and 2015 while approvals for hundreds of settlement units were advanced during that same period. moreover palestinian structures in area c do not have a permit from the israeli military are potentially subject to demolition and currently being demolished in a historically high rate over 1,300 palestinians including 600 children have been displaced because of demolitions in 2016 alone. more than any previous year. so the settler agenda is defining the future of israel.
and their stated purpose is clear, they believe in one state, greater israel. in fact, one prominent minister who heads a prosettler party declared just after the u.s. election and i quote, the era of the two-state solution is over, end quote. and many other coalition ministers publicly reject a palestinian state and they are increasingly getting their way with plans for hundreds of new units in east jerusalem announced and talk with major new settlement effort in the west bank to follow. so why are we so concerned? why does this matter? well, ask yourselves these questions. what happens if that agenda succeeds, where does that lead? there are currently about 2.75 million palestinians living under military occupation in the west bank.
most of them in areas a and b, 40% of the west bank, where they have limited autonomy. they are restricted in their daily movements by a web of check points and unable to travel into or out of the west bank without a permit from the israelis, so if there's only one state, you would have millions of palestinians permanently living in segregated enclaves in the middle of the west bank with no real political rights, separate legal education and transportation systems, vast income disparities, under a permanent military occupation deprives them of the most basic freedoms. separate and unequal is what you would have. and nobody can explain how that works. would an israeli accept living that way, would an american accept living that way, would the world accept it? if the occupation becomes permanent over the time the palestinian authority could
simply dissolve, turn over all the administrative and security responsibility of the israelis, what would happen then? who would administer the schools and hospitals and on what basis? does israel want to pay for billions of dollars lost for assistance that the palestinian authority now receives? would the israeli defense force police the streets of every single city and town? how would israel respond to a growing civil rights movement from palestinians demanding a right to vote or widespread protests and unrest across the west bank? how does israel reconcile a permanent occupation with its democratic ideals? how does the u.s. continue to defend that and still live up to our own democratic ideals? nobody has ever provided good answers to those questions because there aren't any. and there would be an increasing risk of more intense violence between palestinians and set
settlers and per fill ground for extremists. with all the external threats that israel faces today which we are cognizant of and working with them to deal with, does it really want an intensifying conflict in the west bank? how does that help israel's security? how does that republican the region? the answer is it doesn't which is precisely why so many senior israeli military and intelligence leaders past and present believe the two-state solution is the only real answer for israel's long-term security. now, one thing we do know, if israel goes down the one-state path, it will never have true peace with the rest of the arab world and i can say that with certainty. the arab countries have made clear that they will not make
peace with israel without resolving the israeli-palestinian country. that's not where their loyalties lie, that's not where their politics are. there is something new here, common interest in iran destabilizing activities, fighting extremists as well as diversifying has created something different if israel takes advantage of the opportunities for peace. i have spent a great deal time with leaders exploring this and there's no doubt that they are prepared to have a fundamentally different relationship with israel. that was stated in the arab peace initiative years ago and in all my recent conversations uarab leaders have confirmed their readiness in the context of israeli-palestinian peace, not just the normalized
relations but the work openly on securing that peace with regional security cooperation. it's waiting, it's right there. many have shown willingness to support serious negotiations and to take steps to the path of normalization to relations including public meetings providing there is a meaningful progress towards a two-state solution. my friends, that is a real opportunity that we should not allow to be missed. that raises one final question. is ours the generation that gives up on the dream of a jewish democratic state of israel living in peace and security with its navy base because that is really what is at stake? now that is what informed our vote at the security council last week, the need to preserve the two-state solution and both
sides in this conflict must take responsibility to do that. we have repeatedly and emphatically stressed to the palestinians that all incitement of violence must stop. we have consistently condemned all violence and terrorism and we have strongly opposed unilateral efforts to delegitimize israel. we have made countless to the israelis to stop the march of settlements. literally hundreds of conversations with prime minister netanyahu, i have made clear that continued settlement activity would only increase pressure for an international response. we have all known for some time that the palestinians were intent on moving forward with the un on settlement resolution and i advised prime minister repeatedly that further settlement activity only invited un action. yet the settlement activity just
increased including advancing the unprecedented legislation to legalize settler outpostthat the prime minister himself reportedly warned could expose action, before deciding to support it. in the end, we could not in good conscious protect the most extreme elements of the settler movement as it tries to destroy the two-state solution. we could not in good conscious turn a blind eye to palestinian actions that fan hatred and violence. it is not in u.s. interest to help anyone on either side, create a unitary state and we may not be able to stop them, but we cannot be expected to defend them. and it is certainly not the role of any country to vote against its own policies. that is why we decided not to block the un resolution that
makes clear both sides have to take steps to save the two-state solution while there is still time. now, we did not take this decision lightly. the obama administration has always defended israel against any effort of the un or international fora or biased, one-sided resolutions that seek to undermine legitimacy or security and that has not changed, didn't change for this vote. but, remember, it's important to note that every united states administration, republican and democratic, has opposed settlements as contrary to the prospects for peace and action at the un security council is far from unprecedented. in fact, previous administrations of both political parties have allowed resolutions that were critical of israel to pass including on settlements, on dozens of
occasions under george w. bush alone, the council passed six resolutions that israel opposed including one that endorsed the plan calling for complete freeze on settlements including natural growth. let me read you the lead paragraph from "the new york times" story dated december december 23rd. i quote, with the united states abstaining, the security council adopted a resolution today strongly deploring israel's handling of the disturbances in the occupied territories, which the resolution defines as including jerusalem. all of the 14 other security council members voted in favor. my friends, that story was not written last week. it was written december 23rd, 1987, 26 years to the day when
we voted last week when ronald reagan was president. yet despite growing pressure, the obama administration held a strong line against un action, any un action. we were the only administration since 1967 that had not allowed any resolution to pass that israel opposed. in fact, the only time in eight years the obama administration exercised its veto at the united nations was against a one-sided settlement resolution in 2011 and that resolution did not mention incitement or violence. now, let's look at what happened since then, since then there have been over 30,000 settlement unit advance through some stage of plan progresses. that's right, over 30,000 settlement units advanced not with standing the positions of the united states and other countries. if we had vetoed this resolution just the other day, the united states would have been giving
license to further unfetter settlement construction that we fundamentally opposed. so we reject the criticism that this vote abandons israel. on the contrary, it is not this resolution that is isolating israel, it is the permanent policy of settlement construction that risks making peace impossible. virtually every country in the world other than israel opposes settlements. that includes many of the friends of israel including the united kingdom, france, russia, all of whom voted for the settlement resolution in 2011 that we vetoed and again this year along with every other member and council. in fact, this resolution reaffirms statements made by the security council on the legality of settlements over several decades. it does not break new ground.
in 1978 legal adviser advised that the israeli government's program of establishing civilian settlements in the occupied territory is inconsistent with international law. we see no change since then to affect that fundamental conclusion. now, you may have heard that some criticized this resolution for calling east jerusalem occupied territory. but to be clear, there was absolutely nothing new in last week's resolution on that issue. it was one of a long line of security council resolutions that included part of the territories occupied by israel in 1967 and that includes resolutions passed by the security council under president reagan and president george h.w. bush.